Ronald Woan via Flickr

V&A calls for a Taylor Swift ‘Superfan Advisor’

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has begun their search for a British Taylor Swift super fan to advise them on a new exhibition.

The London Museum is looking for an insight into fan culture and would ideally appoint a fan before Swift begins the European leg of her ‘Eras’ tour later this year.

In this upcoming exhibition, the V&A will look at modern-day fan culture in the UK, including the memorabilia that is created and collected.

Swift’s fans have become renowned over social media as they have attended her concerts with stacks of friendship bracelets. This was inspired by one of the lyrics from Swift’s song ‘You’re On Your Own Kid’: “So make the friendship bracelets/ Take the moment and taste it/ You’ve got no reason to be afraid”. This lyric is poignant and was the catalyst for many fans to craft their own bracelets which have then been traded at concerts.

Swift’s fans have also been known to dedicate time to creating, or finding, unique Swift-themed costumes

Bracelet-making is a way for fans to get excited about the, perhaps, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Taylor Swift perform live. It acts as a way for them to ensure that they are taking this moment in, as the lyric states. In addition to this, it emphasises the community that fan culture creates; trading bracelets is a way to engage with fellow fans and take home a handmade souvenir from a concert that you have dreamed of attending.

As well as making friendship bracelets, Swift’s fans have also been known to dedicate time to creating, or finding, unique Swift-themed costumes. For her current Eras tour, “Swifties” have been choosing their favourite of Swift’s ‘eras’ and designing outfits to wear to her concert based on the one that they have chosen.

The V&A specialises in art, design, and performance. It was founded in 1852 and, currently, it houses a permanent collection of over 2.8 million objects.  Due to this, they are particularly interested in the creations of “Swifties” and the inspiration behind them.

The museum has also been on the search for individuals to advise them on other subjects: Crocs, emojis, and drag. They have already found experts on Toby jugs, Pokemon cards, Gopcore clothing, and Lego.

Swift is not the only artist that the V&A would like to meet the fans of, it is looking for experts on David Bowie to assist in the creation of an archive. There is a range of roles available in the Bowie team with salaries ranging from £26,000 to £42,000.

In 2020, Harry Styles‘ famous knitted cardigan was acquired by the V&A. In their blog, the V&A described Styles as “one of the most influential style icons of his generation”. Another reason why Styles’ cardigan was selected for the museum was the effect that it had on fans. Numerous fans began crocheting their own cardigans, sharing their creations on TikTok under the hashtag #harrystylescardigan.

It is clear that artists who are chosen to feature in the V&A, not only make iconic fashion choices, but also influence their fans to create garments inspired by them and their work.

The question is who is the next artist to have such an impact on the world?

Choosing Swift as an artist to focus on in an upcoming exhibition speaks volumes about her current position in pop culture. At just 34 years old she is being given a place in one of the most visited museums in the UK, something that pop icon Bowie is only being given 8 years after his death.

The museum wants to hire this “Swiftie” advisor before she begins touring in the UK this summer. Her upcoming tour has likely influenced the V&A to include Swift in their museum.

In December, it was revealed that Swift’s Eras tour had officially become the highest-grossing music tour ever, having surpassed the $1 billion mark in revenue. This was following the tour’s start in March 2023; it is not set to end until December 2024.

Fans do not have to attend the concert live, those unable to attend were able to watch a concert film from the artist in cinemas, with this recorded concert now being available on Disney+.

Applications for the Taylor Swift “Superfan Advisor” have now closed but the fact that such a role has been released means that so-called super fans of other artists are likely to be requested in the future.

The question is who is the next artist to have such an impact on the world? Who will sell out stadiums and fill cinemas? Who will inspire hundreds of thousands to hand make friendship bracelets that they will trade with strangers who feel like family? Strangers that feel like family all because they listen to the same singer’s songs.


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